WhatsApp beta for Android makes audio recording easier

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Facebook-owned WhatsApp is rolling out a new beta on Android that includes a much requested feature, an option to record voice notes hands-free within the app. After installing the update, when the user presses and holds on the mic button to record audio, another option appears on screen where they can swipe up to lock the recording. After doing that, the app will continue to record the voice note without you having to press and hold the mic button. You can still cancel the recording and delete the file without sending. The update is out now on Android through the beta channel….

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4 iPhone Apps That Make Retouching Photos Easier Than Ever

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Retouching has long been a standard practice in professional photography, but you don’t need to learn how to use Photoshop to make your selfies look better.

All you need is the right mobile photo retouching app and a bit of practice. The hardest part of retouching your headshot is knowing when to stop making adjustments.

In an endless sea of iPhone photo retouching apps, only these four are worth your time.

Advice on Using These Apps

You should feel free to edit and share your photos in any way you see fit. At the same time, you shouldn’t feel compelled to use photo retouching apps unless you really want to. Don’t let anyone tell you that your pictures don’t look good enough, or that using an app to edit a photo is inherently bad. It’s not.

With that in mind, some of these apps require a little more restraint to avoid results that can seem overdone. In particular, warping certain features will also affect background objects like straight lines. From a photo editing standpoint, the more natural and true to life your edits appear, the better.

Remember: how you choose to present yourself on social media is up to you, and only you. There’s a huge amount of pressure associated with the image we project on networks like Facebook and Instagram. This pressure has always existed in some form or another.

Though retouching apps emerged alongside this trend, that doesn’t mean they are inherently bad.

1. Best Premium Retouching App: Facetune

Facetune iPhone photo retouching app

It might not have been the first iPhone photo retouching app, but it’s arguably the best. Facetune includes a whole range of tools in one purpose-built package. It’s designed from the ground up to augment your facial features, and it’s yours for a one-off fee.

You won’t find a better assembly of tools for the job. You can whiten your teeth, smooth over your skin, highlight details like eyes, and correct blemishes with patch healing. There’s a liquify effect that allows you to reshape your features, plus skin tone adjustment, selective defocusing, and some built-in filters.

Facetune includes a tutorial for each tool, complete with video showing the effect in action. There are a ton of included pictures to try out, and not a single in-app purchase or subscription in sight. You can undo changes and preview the original image while you work.

Best of all, since Facetune holds your hand while performing edits, you don’t need to show quite as much restraint as you do with the other apps on the list. It’s harder to create a monster, but it’s still fun.

Download: Facetune ($ 4)

2. Best Free Retouching App: Photoshop Fix

Photoshop Fix iPhone photo retouching app

If you like the look of Facetune but aren’t into paying $ 4 for the privilege, Photoshop Fix is the app for you. This version of Photoshop isn’t quite as straightforward as Facetune is. You’ll need to learn how to use a few of the included tools before you put them to best use.

Adobe includes a good range of retouching tools, and you don’t need a Creative Cloud subscription to use any of them. The Lighten tool is great for teeth whitening, the Smooth tool makes light work of uneven skin, and correcting spots and blemishes is easy with the Healing brush.

The real standout feature is Adobe’s Liquify tool, which allows you to make subtle (and not-so-subtle) adjustments to your features. Use it to widen a smile or tuck your chin, but don’t go too far and keep an eye on any straight lines or objects in the background.

You’ll also get some handy basic photo editing tools, a saturation brush, selective defocusing, vignetting, and a standard paint brush. You’ll need a (free) Adobe account to use this one.

Download: Photshop Fix (Free)

3. Worth Consideration: Pixlr

Pixlr iPhone photo editor

Pixlr is a web-based photo editor, and this is the iOS version of that web app. It’s completely free, with no in-app purchases or restrictions. Like Photoshop Fix, this isn’t purpose-built face tuning software. You’ll be left to your own devices when applying edits.

There’s a brighten tool for whitening teeth and a darken tool to add contrast or deepen shadows. You can retouch skin with the smoothing tool and fix blemishes with the healing tool. There’s also a blur brush for selective defocusing, and red eye removal if ever you need it.

Since Pixlr is more of a general photo editor, you’ll also get some more standard tools that are great for all kinds of editing. You can add filters, overlays, or stylize your image with the included presets. There’s also a good number of frames and text effects, which might come in handy sometime.

Download: Pixlr (Free)

4. Worth Consideration: Photo Editor by Aviary

Photo Editor by Aviary iPhone photo editor

Aviary is an ordinary photo editor, but it includes a few tools which make it a perfect selfie-retouching app. The standout feature is a foolproof teeth whitener, but there’s also red eye correction, blemish removal, and selective defocusing too.

You can use the blur tool on skin with decent results, or sharpen eyes and other features to draw attention to them. Additionally, auto-enhance scene modes designed for night and portrait shots might help somewhat.

Unfortunately Aviary lacks a liquify tool, so you can’t make warp adjustments to your image. Combined with the full set of standard photo editing tools, though, Aviary is a great app to keep around.

Download: Aviary (Free)

Other iPhone Retouching Apps We Tried

There are a lot of photo retouching apps available on the App Store, but the vast majority aren’t worth your time. Most are free with in-app purchases, others use a credit system to limit free usage, and some even have a subscription model.

You’ll want to skip the freemium Facetune 2 since paying $ 4 for the standard version is a better deal. Microsoft’s two “enhanced” iOS cameras, Pix and Selfie, are lacking in features. ModiFace Photo Editor has not been optimized for larger iOS devices, so the interface is ugly.

That developer’s other app, Modiface Live, is better but ultimately more of a toy for trying out cosmetics than a serious photo tool. Facetune and Photoshop Fix remain the best options.

And don’t forget these tips for taking a great selfie!

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New Google Search update makes it easier to compare movies by ratings, timings, and location

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Google has pushed out a new update to its Search app. The update is aimed at making your movie planning experience smoother as it brings along the ability to compare movies using filters like ratings, show times, and theater location. “If you have a favorite theater, you can check out what’s playing by location, and narrow your search with filters,” the company explains in a blog post. The new feature is available on both Google Search Android app as well as mobile browsers in India and the US, with English and Hindi as currently supported languages. The Search for iOS app will…

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Google improves Search to make it easier to find showtimes and theaters

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Google has announced today that it’s rolling out changes to Search which will make it easier for users to find and buy tickets to a movie they want to see. Now, when searching for a good movie to go watch with some friends, users will be able to quickly filter and compare a whole bunch of factors, including ratings, showtimes, theater locations, and more.

In addition to being able to find nearby theaters based on where a where a specific movie is playing, users can also pick a favorite place and search only for movies that are showing at that particular theater.

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Google improves Search to make it easier to find showtimes and theaters was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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iOS 11.3 Adds Multiple App Store Accounts Support Of Sorts, Makes It Easier To Update Apps Without Switching IDs

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Starting with iOS 11.3, there’s now multiple App Store accounts support which lets you update apps without switching IDs.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

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New Google Maps mini-game makes finding Waldo easier than ever

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Starting today you can use Google Maps on Android, iOS, and desktop to assist you in finding everyone’s favorite hide-and-seek champion, Waldo. To start the search, you’ll need to update the mobile app (or visit Google Maps on the web) and press play when presented with a waving Waldo. For Android users, you can also ask Google Assistant “Where’s Waldo” to start. Once spotted, you’ll be transported to various locations around the globe where you can win badges and level up throughout the journey. Aside from Waldo, there’s Wenda, Wizard, Whitebeard, Odlaw, and Woof, the dog. When you spot Waldo,…

This story continues at The Next Web
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Twitter Introduces Easier Method for Sharing Specific Clips From Live Videos

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Twitter this week updated its iOS and Android apps with a new feature called “Timestamps,” which the company said will make it easier to share brief moments from longer live videos.

Previously, Twitter users had to direct their followers to specific time codes in a live video so that people knew which moment they were referring to. The Timestamps update is a direct response to that, according to product lead for Periscope Mike Folgner.


Now, when users tap the share sheet extension on a live video, Twitter displays a playback track that they can scrub through to find the exact moment they want their followers to watch. Then they can tap the “new tweet” button, type in any commentary on the video clip, and press “tweet.” The clips can also be sent via direct message or copied and shared through a link.

So, we built Timestamps which lets anyone Tweet a live or replay video starting from the exact moment they want to discuss.

People have always used Twitter to talk about the things they experience. With Timestamps, now we can show rather than just tell everyone what’s happening.

People who see the tweet will be able to watch the specific moment shared within, and if the broadcast is still live they can skip forward in time by tapping “live.” Folgner said the feature is available across all live videos, “whether from a professional content publisher or someone broadcasting from their phone.”

Timestamps are available now on Twitter for iOS [Direct Link] and Android, Twitter.com, and Periscope.

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7 Hidden Tricks That Make Your iPhone Easier to Use

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Apple’s products have a reputation for being simple and easy to use. That’s because Apple specifically tailors its devices to “just work” — and the iPhone is probably the champion of that design philosophy. Out of the box, you probably won’t find a more straightforward product to get the hang of. But despite that, there […]
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Facebook overhauls its privacy tools and makes them easier to find

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Facebook contact icon

Facebook has redesigned its privacy tools to put you more in control of your data…. Read the rest of this post here


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